To spread the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga, which remains forever the same in essence, yet always adapts to the time and place.

Nimbarka Philosophy
by Sri Sri Abadh Bihari Das Kathia Baba.

This new era can be considered as the most critical phase the world has ever witnessed. Everywhere we can see a rapid erosion of human values, an intolerable situation of unrest, insecurity and violence, the failures, the partings and the incapacity of man to understand each other, which threaten the very existence of the universe. The main problem is the estrangement of man from God, from Nature, from other men and above all, from his inner self. In this period of disorder, Nimbarka philoshophy can definitely play a unique role. The essence of Nimbarka philoshophy will help to realize the importance of universal goodwill, world peace and humanity.

At first, one should understand the meaning of Philosophy. The Etymological meaning of Philosophy is `an intellectual quest for truth'. The Upanishadic part of Vedic literature is known as Vedanta. In order to place the doctrines of the Upanishad in an organized form, Rishi Badarayana composed the Brahmasutra. On the Brahmasutra of Badarayana, Nimbarka was one of the five principal commentators. His Philosophy or 'Darshana' is known as Dvaitadvaita or Svabhavika Bhedabheda. Nimbarkacharya in his commentary on the Brahmasutra entitled ' Vedanta-parijata-saurabha' and also in 'Dashashloki' dealt with three realities: (1) Brahma (the supreme Reality), (2) soul ( cit), and (3) matter ( acit). According to him, Brahma is the controller, cit (the sentient) is the enjoyer, and acit (non-sentient) is the object enjoyed. There is a real difference among these three realities. Brahma is the cause whereas the soul and the universe are the effects. A difference always exists between the cause and the effect, the whole and the part. Therefore, we cannot deny the difference between Brahma on the one hand and soul and matter on the other hand. However, Nimbarka, which emphasizes that this difference is true, also states that the non-difference between Brahma, soul and world is not false. He told that the soul and matter are true – as true as the Brahma Himself. The relation between Brahma on the one hand, and soul & matter on the other hand, is a relation of natural difference and non-difference, thus called Svabhavika bhedabheda.

Nimbarka Philosophy states that, Jiva (soul) is a part of God. The relation of part and whole, the relation of difference in identity exists between the individual soul and God. They are identical and it is not possible for them to have a separate existence from God. Their identity is like the identity that exists between ocean and wave, there is a difference like that of the sun and its light.

Nimbarka maintains that Jiva is pure knowledge, as well as a resort of knowledge. Jiva is of atomic dimension and it has limited power. It is separate in each body, hence, is innumerable. In the integral philosophy of Nimbarka, Jiva is considered as a power of God and Supreme self Lord Krishna is the resort of Jiva. Like Jiva, the universe is also the part of God. God is the efficient and material cause of the universe.

Liberation is the most exalted human attainment through which the soul attains its highest illumination. It is the spiritual union between individual soul and the supreme soul, the God through Love. Love in various forms is surely the most important component parts of human values. From the very starting love has enriched human life. True love with its constancy always proved a source of consolation and peace. Nevertheless, conception of love is divergent and controversy arises whether this love brings bliss or curse, peace or problem, danger or solace. However, this controversy is due to ignorance and, as Nimbarka maintains, the ignorance belongs to the individual soul.

Even in liberation, individual soul remains subordinate to God. The liberated soul acquires all the divine powers, but he does not become almighty like God. He is not endowed with the power of creation, preservation and destruction, which are exclusively God's prerogatives.

Of the five bhavas namely santa, dasya, sakhya , vatsalya, and madhurya the Guru (spiritual Master) is the most venerable one for those making their journey towards liberation. Since it is in him that, the secret is lying hidden.

There are five varieties of Rasa corresponding to the different types of devotees. The five varieties of Rasa are Shanta ( feeling of peacefulness ), Dasya ( feeling that "I am like a servant to lord krishna ), Sakhya ( feeling that "I am a friend of Krishna " ), Vatsalya ( feeling that " Krishna is a child and I am Krishna 's parental guardian" ) and Madhura ( mood that " Krishna is my beloved" ). There are also seven secondary types of Rasa known as Hasya (humourous mood), Adbhuta (astonishment), Veera (chivalrous mood), Karuna (compassionate mood), Raudra (angry mood), Bhayanaka (mood of awe and dread) and Vibhasta (ghastliness). The five principal kinds of Rasa are permanent and constantly permeate the mind of the devotee, whereas the seven secondary moods are not constantly present within the mind of the devotee.

Shanta-rasa is exemplified by the conduct of the nine yogis called the Yogendras, and also in the case of the yogi Sanaka and his young brothers. Dasya-rasa, to feel that I am his servant, is seen everywhere in the case of numberless devotees of Krishna .  Sakhya-rasa includes those who treat him as one's friend like Sudama the most faithful and devoted friend of Lord Krishna.   The devotees in the mood of Vatsalya-rasa include the parents and all the older relatives of Krishna . In Madhura-rasa the principal Bhaktas (devotees) are the Milk-Maids in Vraja, the place where Krishna spent a wonderful phase of his life with his love Radha and her friends.

Persons who have already transcended the mundane regions are saints ( sadhus ), and the religion of the sadhus is inculcated in the Bhagabat . Matsarata is the combination of the obstacles: kama , krodha , lobha and mada . By indulging in these passions we become jealous ( matsar ). Sadhus are free from jealousy. We should have access to the positive entity ( Bastava Bastu ) and not the negative side of the dreamy representations of the objects. By the reverential study of the Bhagabat the threefold miseries ( tapas ) viz., adhyatmik , adhidaivik and adhibhoutik , are completely eliminated. Krishna-prema-rasa should be our desired end. We should be rasika bhabukas and not devoid of rasa.

One who acts according to the advice of a Guru can get rid of ignorance and all the afflictions of this world by way of dedicating himself to Lord Krishna and by rendering constant service. It is in the fitness of things that men should stop to comply with what is ordained for him. Only Guru can help a person to cross this vast ocean of Maya and to understand the true meaning of life, which is a series of illusions followed by a series of disillusions.

All kinds of external influences are corrupting today's youngsters. The society is dependent on them; they are the source of hopes for all. But lack of good guidance makes them feel hopeless and aimless and thus fall prey to the sufferings. Their world has slipped into the grip of doubt and distraction, fear and faithlessness. In such a state of society, all youngsters need to be inspired to become free of evil influences; to develop self-discipline and to undertake daily spiritual practices.

This can only be achieved through the medium of a devotional life style based on spiritual values. For this, Vaisnava systems of devotional practices are undeniably very practical and beneficial. The character building activities and the social-service-oriented devotional practices of the Sampradaya (Sect) has been able to attract more and more youngsters and it will soon help them to overcome the hurdles of their life.

Devotion to Lord Krishna, living an honest life, practicing a life style in the mode of goodness (sattva-guna) especially in the matter of food habits and personal conduct; treating all living beings, with the feeling of Karuna in heart, as the part and parcel of Lord himself; practicing non-violence, and engaging daily in welfare oriented activities are the characteristics of Nimbarka Sampradaya.

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Kathia BabaThe above introduction to Nimbarka Philosophy was written by Sri Sri Abadh Bihari Das Kathia Baba - click for more details.

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Sanatan Society is an international networking association of students of the late Harish Johari, joining efforts to promote his teachings of yoga philosophy, tantra, worship, art and love. Sanatan Society stands for the original, universal and eternal truth, path or law of yoga. Though it is Hindu in origin, Sanatan Society is not limited to any religion, race, time or country, nor in fact to any particular organisation. More about Sanatan Society...

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